St Basil of Caesarea quote


What is the the source of the quote from St Basil of Caesarea in the following post on The Atlantic from and that I’ve also posted in the second paragraph here, and did the punishment mentioned for clerics and monks who were molesters ever take place? The Atlantic post says, “no mention of its original source” from this cited Website for the quote and I just get a largely blank page when I look at that website.

Saint Basil of Caesarea, the fourth century Church Father who wrote the principal rule of the monks of the East, establishes this: “The cleric or monk who molests youths or boys or is caught kissing or committing some turpitude, let him be whipped in public, deprived of his crown [tonsure] and, after having his head shaved, let his face be covered with spittle; and [let him be] bound in iron chains, condemned to six months in prison, reduced to eating rye bread once a day in the evening three times per week. After these six months living in a separate cell under the custody of a wise elder with great spiritual experience, let him be subjected to prayers, vigils and manual work, always under the guard of two spiritual brothers, without being allowed to have any relationship . . . with young people."


The quote is from St. Peter Damian’s Letter 31, written in about 1050. He (wrongly) attributes the passage to St. Basil.

The footnote in my edition say this of the passage:

“This quotation, which Damian’s source (probably Burchard’s Libri Decretorum, lib. 17, cap. 35; PL 140, 925D) attributes to St. Basil, is in reality a slightly truncated form of a penalty prescribed for monks by St. Fructuosus of Braga (d. 665) (Regula Monachorum, cap. 16; PL 87, 1107A–B). A section of it also appears in the decrees of Ecgbert, bishop of York (d. 766) (PL 89, 387D), who correctly attributes it to Fructuosus, but in the later Collectio Canonum Quadripartia, (a manual used and referenced widely during the latter part of the early middle ages in France, England, and Italy), it contains no attribution. By the tenth century, collections of canon law such as Burchard’s were incorrectly attributing it to Basil.”


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